Configurable switch behavior
Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:10 PM
There's been discussion around here and on the latest (as of this post) Kickstarter update about my choice for the switch color, depicted below:
Read/Write by eric.agan, on Flickr
Read-only by eric.agan, on Flickr
Personally I deal with lots of infected or untrusted machines and so am very paranoid about keeping things read-only where possible. For that reason, I chose red for "danger, this is not protected," so I would notice it before plugging into a machine.
However, I understand that many people feel red should instead indicate it is protected ("red means locked").
It's clear there's no right or wrong answer, it just depends on use case and personal preference.
The switch can only be assembled one way, to prevent accidental flipping during assembly, so that's not an option.
I'd like to propose a solution: Making the switch behavior configurable. In the config software you could choose which meaning you prefer: red is read-only or red is read/write, it's up to you. Once applied, the change would persist until you change it again on your stick -- this differs from other settings such as the in-use image filename, which is stored on the microsd card, since that's specific to each card.
The config software would also have an image clearly indicating the meaning of either switch position based on your current setting. That way there's never any confusion.
Please use the poll to tell me what you think, and feel free to reply with your thoughts!
Oh, also: For anyone concerned about the remote chance that some evil software would simply flip the meaning of the switch to gain write access, this is a non-issue. Under the hood, config changes are actually done by writing a file to the microSD card, which isn't possible in read-only mode. So the safety of read-only mode is not compromised.
Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:53 PM
Theory is a good thing , but practice is more like what really happens .
In the same firm there are two IT guys, one (rightful IMHO) with the thingy set with RED=DANGER Write enabled and the other one (wrongful IMHO) with the thingy set with RED= everything is cool, thingy is locked
By mistake the sticks (same case colour) are exchanged.
What would happen?
A potentially dangerous condition.
RED is commonly connected with the idea of danger/warning/be careful.
On traffic lights RED means Stop (danger if you pass).
On a faucet, RED means HOT (Warning, Danger, you could scold your hands)
The highest degree of alert is RED ALERT
A RED flag more generally means danger, in the US for fire conditions in EU on beaches for the conditions of sea.
The button to stop *any* industrial machine in emergency is RED.
The "hazard" button on the dash of your car is RED
But EITHER convention may be OK, as long as it is SET IN FACTORY and CANNOT BE ALTERED by end user.
Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:13 PM
I have to agree, not being able to alter it does sound like the best approach when that's considered.
Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:36 PM
Getting used to something is much easier, if it doesn't change.
As for color choices, red means stop, yellow, usually combined with black, means danger.
Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:55 PM
The rationale behind this being that most people will just accept whichever behavior applies to the device in question. I've seen both behaviors in the wild. ( Maybe that's why most devices now use a little indicator.. like an icon of an open/closed lock). So for most people, whatever you choose, would work anyway.
For those who do jump up and down insisting that it is wrong.. well they can either deal with it, or change it.. as long as they bother to find out about it.
If you want to re-enforce the 'factory behavior' in the common user's mind, you can try shipping the isosticks with the write protection ON. That way when they can't write to it, hopefully they'll have the clarity of mind to think "oh hey, the switch is in this position - I must switch it to that other position to disable write protect." Or put that in whatever file will be on there when you first use it (if any).
Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:06 PM
Idk what to answer in the poll cause I'm for red=write-enabled. But I'm still open to hear different points of view.
Edited by allig4t0r, 11 February 2012 - 05:07 PM.
Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:20 AM
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